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Thread: WX outlook: Sat May 15

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    628

    Re: WX outlook: Sat May 15

    John was right on! It was great for some, awful for other (especially those trapped low in the canyon with 30 knots wind) . Tomorrow should be much better.

    Ramy

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Menlo Park, CA
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    Re: WX outlook: Sat May 15

    Looking good!
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ID:	6382 11a light OD on Snow = possible 930a launch!
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ID:	638311a cu base, amazing. Plus light winds, except late in the day, strong from the S in the valley, up to 3k.
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ID:	6384No cirrus, at least for our area, heavier on the Sierra. 2p 500mb rh.
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Menlo Park CA
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    302

    Re: WX outlook: Sat May 15

    What a grand adventure. Thanks to Kemption and Ramy for leading the way. Out east of Mt. Shasta turns out to have a delightful area of dry high plains with great thermals. The trip back via Mt. Lassen / Quincy is not as terrifying as it looks. Even 12,500 gets you back to Williams with extra. Lots of new territory for me.

  4. #14
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    Jan 2011
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    Re: WX outlook: Sat May 15

    It's always special when we can get super conditions and on a weekend. Saturday was a first flight with Wyll Soll, one of the Cal State SLO Akaflieg students. He's already an active XC pilot flying out of Avenal. The setup as posted, was for a cutoff low to enhance the cu, perhaps OD, and with an easterly wind.

    We launch at 10a with a light NE wind on the ground and head for Goat where there are scrappy cu and what looks like a lennie. The forecast is for OD later to the north and some in the Snow-Hull area, with good cu along the Mendos otherwise. A week ago there was the possibility of wave early Saturday, but then it disappeared from the forecast and I didn't think about it after that. But here is this lennie, with rotor clouds under it paralleling the Goat ridge:
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    On tow, there’s sink on the lee side of the Goat ridge just as in a wave but the winds show parallel to the Goat ridgeline! Very confusing, but after release we're sinking so I head over to the rotor clouds and sure enough there’s 2-3 kts smooth lift in front of them so Wyll and I work our way to 12.6k feet!
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    The wind does turn around to NNE as we go above 9k, but still confusing. Heading to San Hedrin staying in front of the line of rotor like clouds, there’s a really nice cu on San Hedrin:
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    We arrived just under the San Hedrin cu, bounce it then head north along the Hull ridge which has some nice cu on it with a street pointing northward towards the Ruth area:
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    We get to the Ruth lake area in short order, a bit low at around 9k feet, but I'm not concerned as there are plenty of cu around. Wyll remarks that he knows some people in the area there, so for whatever reason it gave me some comfort:
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    The cu line is well west, so we follow cu to west of Hayfork, then into the Trinitys. There's a nice fat cu that we go under but I couldn't find the core:
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    Pressing on above the ridgeline we slowly gain and also see our first towering cu, a sign that overdevelopment is about to start:
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    Wyll plans to compete in the Montague nationals so was looking to get a feel for the area. We make it to the south end of Scott Valley and considered going towards China peak when we see this OD on the side of the Trinitys (view S):
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    Although 130p seems a bit early to head south, we decide to turn around based on that OD. We’re just south of the south end of Scott Valley, when we fall into a sinky area and can't seem to get a climb for 20 minutes. The OD becomes progressively worse and several cells drift westward due to the easterly wind, so we're in a race to get around the west side of the Trinity to the nice cu to the west and south. At the extreme NW corner of the Trinity Wilderness, we see sun and cu to the south right when we reach our thermal high point of the day, 12k. We come around the south side of the Trinity OD and go back east to connect with the street (video):
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aF9...ew?usp=sharing

    We also see the storm that developed in the Hull / San Hedrin area but it's drifting off to the west. Wyll is doing most of the flying at this point as we uneventfully go south along the Mendos to St. John and into WSC. We don't want to stay out late because Sunday looks to be a long day so we want to be well rested.

    OLC: https://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-3....l?dsId=8370704

    Sunday next...
    Last edited by Kempton; 06-02-2021 at 04:00 PM.
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  5. #15
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    Re: WX outlook: Sat May 15

    Sunday May 16

    The outlook had Wyll and me plan an O&R to the Alvord Desert in SE Oregon with an early start. However, the RASP was grossly optimistic:
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    Off tow, we were grinding around for 40 minutes in the meadows area just west of St. John while cu popped at Hull. I've flat glided before to Hull, but for some reason this time it just didn't feel right. Meantime Ramy flew past us straight over to Hull and got up and going. Later I did the numbers and we could have glided over there arriving about even with the peak and would have been fine. Instead we only headed north when I could see cu pop about four miles away, and, now feeling more desperate, felt the risk was worthwhile. And indeed it was a 4-5kt climb, enough to get to the next cloud and on our way.

    Now staying about 10k, we zip along the ridgeline to Anthony, cut across the Yolla bowl and flat glided to Buckhorn which had a cu on it:
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    Ramy meantime went over to the Trinitys and we managed to gain on him by the time we got to Mt Eddy. The southside of Shasta had a nice cu right over the ski resort which gave us a good climb to 12k:
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    The cu field stretched southeast with the north border toward Alturas so with some blue off to our left, we ran the edge of the cu field towards Alturas with Fall River Mills as our safety airport. Wyll did most of the flying, I’d occasionally take over for the climbs:
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    Cloudbase slowly rose to 13.5k the further east we went. At the south end of Goose Lake on the Warners we headed north with Ramy close behind:
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ID:	6417 Cedarville lower right, Goose Lake left.

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ID:	6418 Same time, looking WNW, Alturas just out of view to the left.

    After a few miles under great cloud, but no climb, we decided to turn around. While it was not even 3p, we had decided to head down the Sierra to return to Williams, and the cu were forecast to dissipate around Quincy by 5p. Of course, we get the best climb of the day to 14k, the high of the day right where H-299 goes thru the Warners to Cedarville. From there to Quincy was fast, 90 minutes for 110nm to start of final glide at 13.5k:
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Name:	May 16 Quincy 424p.jpg 
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ID:	6419 Quincy airport runway at bottom.

    John Cochrane and Thomas Greenhill were behind Ramy, and turned toward Quincy sooner than us, so were ahead now. John did the glide first and said no problem. Thomas was next and also no problem, gaining with some light lift on the way. They both started at around 13.5k as did we. A 30:1 glide had us at 85-90kts to WSC with Ramy 15 minutes behind.

    7 hours for 716km (OLC), we could have trimmed an hour if I had gone straight for Hull, oh well, next time. Wyll will post his thoughts too.

    https://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-3....l?dsId=8370720
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Menlo Park, CA
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    Re: WX outlook: Sat May 15

    Wyll is not able to get an account going here, so I'm posting on his behalf.

    Wyll Soll writes of his FNX weekend:

    A week ago I got to fly with Kempton Izuno in FNX (Phoenix”), a modified ASH-25. The forecast was for a cutoff low to come through Friday night and produce good to epic soaring on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday seemed to be the more convective day while Sunday was the better of the two with bases in the 12 plus range all the way to eastern Oregon. Thus, we chose to use Saturday to get me acquainted with the soaring area, glider, and flying style and then push for a long flight on Sunday.

    I had a few goals for the weekend other than soaking up as much of Kempton’s soaring knowledge from the front seat. The first was to get more acquainted with the soaring area near Montague as I will be flying there in the upcoming Standard Class Nationals. The second was to learn about and get a feel for flying a flapped ship. Virtually all my glider time has been in unflapped gliders (Libelles, DG-100, Duo Discus, and Discus B mostly) so getting a feel for how to fly a flapped glider and if flaps are a direction I would like to go in when I eventually buy my own ship was also a goal. The third and final goal was to get more used to the normal operations at Williams as well as the local landmarks near Williams as I plan to start flying there this fall or next spring after moving from SLO to the Bay Area.

    So let's get onto the soaring on Saturday. We knew that it would be unstable and allow for an early launch but there was a good chance of OD and some mild convection. Nothing great basin level but enough to produce rain cells and some possible lightning. We launched early, around 10:30 if I remember correctly. One of the key takeaways for me with this weekend was that if the forecast calls for the soaring to start early, be ready to launch even earlier even if this means rigging the day before. On tow, we saw what looked like a lennie as well as some rotorish clouds so we headed in that direction. After steering the tow plane around a bit we were able to release in what was probably wave enhanced thermals. We started climbing up and Kempton kept saying this feels like wave and looks like wave but the wind is the wrong direction (more northerly along the ridge, then easterly across the ridge). My response it's acting like wave so let’s treat it as wave, plus we are climbing so who cares. We continued up to around 12k a bit above cloud base and then started heading north. Once on course we dove back under cloud base and continued for the rest of the day as a thermal flight.

    The clouds were generally good and we were able to mostly bump our way north as far as the Trinity Alps. Arriving at the Trinities we left a climb too early and had to scrape our way off one of the mountains but after a few passes on a ridgeline, we were able to find a core and get out of there. Side note, one of my friends was hiking in that area and saw us climbing out although I only found this out a few days after. After this, we continued north toward Scott Valley (one of the heavily tasked areas for the Montague Area). Getting to the south end of the Scott Valley we decided to turn around as things were starting to get convective for the way home. We turned and immediately got low northeast of Thompson peak. We had safe glide down a canyon and around the corner to Trinity Center but being well below ridge height trying to climb out was not a super fun place to be. We finally found a good core and were able to get back up. Once up we realized the race was on to get around a rain cell over the southeastern Trinities/Weaverville area. Luckily once at cloud base lift was strong and we were able to skirt around the western side of the cell and then head southeast back towards Williams. The rest of the flight was not too bad and we were able to get final glide between Black Butte and St. John and head home.


    Sunday the forecast was even better with still lots of cu early but this time, less chance of OD or storms. The initial goal was an out and return from the Alvord desert. This was appealing to me as I had my very first solo out at the Alvord desert but was also quite an aggressive goal. We took a tow at around 9:30a with the first cu popping while about midway through our very high tow. Unfortunately, the first cu were also very far west over Hull mountain. Kempton did not initially want to commit to the cu as the only land out was Gravelly Valley strip which is a common camping/ATV location. So we spent an hour or so behind Snow Mt. trying to climb out in the blue. In retrospect, we probably should have just made the dive. Either way, we finally got a good climb, although we did have to commit to Gravelly, and got going.

    Once on course things were fast but with the hour wasted our goal of the Alvord was probably not going to happen. We ran up to Castle Crags on the Mendocinos and then jumped across to the south side of Shasta. Going east towards Fall River Mills there was a long stretch of un-landable territory with nothing but trees. Luckily we were able to stay high enough to keep glide to something safe. We ran all the way to the Warners and then made the decision to turn around near Cedarville. On the way home we had a decision to make, go back to the Mendocinos and come back the way we came or go south on the Sierras and then final glide across the valley. After BB (John Cochrane) reported being able to easily make it back to Williams with a final glide from Quincy we chose to go the Sierras route. We ran southeast towards Quincy with MAL (Thomas Greenhill) in front of us and TG (Ramy) behind us. Getting to Quincy we were able to climb up to cloud base around 13K and with a comfortable 30 to 1 glide back to Williams we had it made.

    So in terms of what I was looking to get out of the weekend, I think it was all achieved. I was able to get a good intro to both the Williams soaring area as well as the Montague soaring area. Along with that I really enjoyed flying with flaps. I found it fairly intuitive although Kempton and I did have an interesting discussion about flap settings. I was changing the flaps based on angle of attack (adding flaps with an increase in load factor or decrease in speed) while Kempton uses the more standard flap setting based only on speed. Based on the aerodynamics flying angle of attack is more optimal as angle of attack is directly related to CL and each flap setting is optimized for a specific CL. On the other hand, flying based on speed is easier and what many glider pilots do as it is simpler to explain and implement. Either way it is an interesting discussion and I look forward to getting more experience flying flapped gliders. I’m super thankful to Kempton for inviting me out to fly and the staff at Williams for being awesome as usual.
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

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